June 22, 2013

Road Warriors Day 2...

Seth and I woke up kinda leisurely Sunday morning, our second day of travel. We only had to get to Veracruz which was just an 8 hour drive from Villahermosa. With that, we put no rush on our travels and decided to be a little lazy. While we were driving, we realized that we were
actually going to get to Veracruz much earlier than anticipated (maps WAY overestimate the travel time) and decided to make the 4 hour drive further to get to Tampico before dark. We were hoping to get to the US at least a 1/2 day earlier than expected so we could see Taelyn.

There was a woman selling tamales outside the OXXO outside Veracruz. You know I bought some. They were so big and so good! Funny because in the US, a convenience store would never let someone sit right outside their door and sell food. In Mexico, it was just standard.

Veracruz! We had a little run in with our battery right outside the city. But, lucky us, there was a jeep club parked right next to us at the OXXO. They jumped our battery and got us back on the road. I have to admit that I was praying pretty hard that it would be all good. Its not like we couldn't have gotten the car fixed, but what a pain, ya know?
Mexico loves their toll roads. This was just the first of many, many, many tolls we paid that day because its a tourist road so they bank on it. It wasn't as if the toll roads were that nice, either. They just put a price on them because they knew you needed to go that way and they could.

Because it was overcast most of our trip, we drove with the windows down and just enjoyed the weather. It was really lovely, actually. This is my favorite picture of the whole trip.

Its hard to tell in this picture, but all these trees are leaning to the left from being blown by the wind for so many years. It was pretty cool to see thousands of trees just leaning to the left like they were meant to be that way. 

Where's Waldo? He's in Veracruz apparently.

This day was the most beautiful of all the days because we were driving on the coast. You would see the mountains on your left and the ocean on the right. It was itty, bitty town after itty, bitty town and toll after toll, but it was absolutely beautiful and just interesting to see how different each area we drove through was from the other. Word to the wise though...because its a tourist destination, lots of buses. Because its the only road in and out, lots of double semis. And because of all these things, lots and lots of topes (speed bumps).

Every town had dozen of stands lined up on the side of the road selling whatever that town specialized. We saw banana stands, honey stands, coconut fruit stands, pottery stands, you name, we saw it. The key is to start at the first stand and try to get a low price. By the time you get to the last stand, they know you aren't kidding and will bargain more fairly with you.

As we were getting closer and closer to Naranjo you could see miles and miles of orange trees, even on the mountains. I wish we would have been driving through when they were in bloom because I can only imagine how beautiful it would have been to see.

We pulled up to a stand do buy some honey. They guy of course tried to give us a crazy, insane price. We of course, said, "No, and let's go." He of course said, "Ok! Ok!" and gave it to me for the price I originally asked. I have to say its some pretty dang good honey, too! 
Tampico! Little did we know that our day still had another 2 hours to go because we ran into a wee bit of car issues. You know that battery situation I talked about earlier? Well, the battery officially died in Tampico. Thank goodness we made it to the city though because that would have been BAD, BAD, BAD to break down in the middle of Nowhere, Mexico.

Playa del Carmen to Dallas Day 2

- left around 7 am; got some coffee at an Italian coffee shop; ordered through drive through for first time. Did horrible! I'll get there someday
- stayed in hotel on way out of town so we just zoomed right out and missed traffic
- gas 458 pesos 10 pesos tip; ice and soda 50 pesos
- toll outside Cardenas 60 pesos
- had to do couple u-turns at Minatitlan because of weird signs; option for 180 to Coatzacoalacos or 150 to Mexico and Veracruz; need to choose 150
- toll road 17 pesos to 145; stuck to tolls instead of hugging coast
- roads have been very nice and smooth; to quote the husband, "good, high quality roads". I smirk
- toll 155 pesos at Acayucan
- 20 kilometers after toll entrance picked up by Federal; followed for about 10 mins and finally pulled over; claimed no Spanish, showed car paperwork (safe return visa) and sent on our way immediately with, "ok, bye."
- gassed up and let dogs out 500 pesos at Cosamaloapan
- toll 170 pesos 100 yards from gas
- munchin' on cookies and chips
- making such good time decided to go straight to Tampico and try to make it to states in 3 days
- toll outside Veracruz 80 pesos
-12:40 Veracruz
- battery dead outside Cardel; terminal was loose; nice people in Jeep club jumped us and got us on our way
- prayed like I've never prayed before
- driving on 180 hugging the coast TOPES, SEMIS, TOWNS,TOPES, SEMIS, TOWNS, TOPES, SEMIS, TOWNS
3:30 toll  Puenta Nautla 20 pesos; 
- Guiterrez Zamora filled up with gas 400 pesos
-toll 4 pesos 20 kilometers outside of Poza Rica to get shortcut to Tampico; we may actually make it tonight
- toll 13 pesos Puerta Siete; tolls are getting really old!
- once outside of Poza Rica the roads are rough. Never would have guessed they were paid roads if I hadn't been emptying my wallet every 10 minutes
- stopped at federal road block 10 kilometers of of Naranjos; claimed no Spanish, looked at passport and waved on
-yes, another toll! 30 pesos Tampico
-8:00 finally landed in Tampico; got royally lost. battery completely died as soon as turned on lights. Nice family escorted us from Chedauri to Hotel. Best Western took pity on us and let us take dogs in since our car broke down in their driveway. Seth working on a solution
- Best Western 892 pesos OUCH!
-Ironically, our sex hotel last night was nicer than Best Western. Go figure.
-9:30 checked in with family, ordered pizza from Papa JOHN'S 148 pesos, took shower to wash away the day
-10:00 workin' on my first beer
-Day 2 Total=$3,098 pesos ($233 USD)

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